Drone Strikes

Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles are used not only for surveillance but also, when armed, for lethal strikes in armed conflict. Examples of combat drones include General Atomics’s MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper. Perhaps the most well-known drone strikes are the ones conducted by the United States in its counterterrorist operations in Afghanistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan (Federally Administered Tribal Areas, or FATA—especially North Waziristan). In this entry, the use of drone strikes as a means of conducting targeted killings and the settings and circumstances in which they are employed are examined from both practical and moral perspectives. The differences between targeted killings, surgical strikes, and signature strikes are then revealed, with a discussion on the morality of the latter two in theaters ...

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